LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Utah?
In Utah, medical cannabis is available to patients with qualifying conditions. Adult-use, or recreational, cannabis remains illegal, and possession of small amounts may result in criminal penalties.
On Nov. 6, 2018, Utah voters approved Proposition 2 , allowing patients to obtain and use medical marijuana and state-licensed facilities to grow, process, test, or sell cannabis for medicinal purposes.
In the weeks leading to Election Day, the fervor generated by Proposition 2 Utah prompted Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah Legislature, and proposition proponents and opponents — including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest religious community in the state — to craft a compromise cannabis law regardless of whether Proposition 2 passed.
The compromise bill called for relaxing medical cannabis card renewal requirements, tightening qualifications for who could be a caregiver or guardian, offering employment protections for patients, and regulating how medical marijuana could be consumed. The legislature passed the compromise bill Dec. 3 2018, and Herbert signed it the same day. It was HB 3001, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act .
Utah has frequently tweaked its medical marijuana laws to loosen some restrictions and tighten others. For example, HB 195, signed in 2018, allowed terminally ill patients to try medicinal marijuana. HB 121, signed in 2020, allowed for the expungement of some cannabis-related convictions and required seed-to-sale tracking, among other things. HB 425, also signed in 2020, waived some ID card requirements to make it easier for patients to purchase medical marijuana during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is in charge of issuing patients medical cannabis cards, registering doctors recommending cannabis, and licensing dispensaries. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) handles cultivation and processing licenses and oversight.
Where is it safe to purchase?
There are six open medical cannabis pharmacies in Utah with another eight licensed and slated to open. Patients 18 and older, a parent or legal guardian of a minor patient, and designated caregivers may purchase medical cannabis. Each must have a medical cannabis card. All cards for patients younger than 21 must be approved by Utah’s Compassionate Use Board.
Cardholders can purchase up to 112 grams (3.95 ounces) of cannabis with up to 19 grams (0.67 ounces) of total THC within a 30-day period. Those are also the maximum possession limits.
Temporary rules in place during 2020 allow patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis from a pharmacy by presenting a letter from the patient’s doctor.
Where is it safe to consume?
Patients must consume their marijuana in private unless it’s a medical emergency. They can’t smoke cannabis anywhere or consume it while driving a vehicle.
In Utah, medical marijuana may be taken as a tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, skin patch, or a gelatin cube that can be chewed or dissolved. The state also allows the vaping of flower, resin, or wax.
Medical cannabis cardholders can possess up to 112 grams (3.95 ounces) of cannabis within a 30-day period. When transporting or possessing marijuana outside the home, a patient or caregiver must carry their state-issued medical cannabis card.
For those without state-issued medical cannabis cards, possession of less than 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor, while a third or subsequent conviction could result in a third-degree felony.
Possession of 1 ounce to 1 pound is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,500. Possession of more than 1 pound will result in a felony, even for first-time offenders.
View the CBD & cannabis laws & regulations for Utah.
Patients can officially apply for Utah medical marijuana cards
By Garna Mejia, KSL TV | Posted – Mar. 2, 2020 at 8:19 a.m.
SALT LAKE CITY — Patients can officially apply for medical marijuana cards in the state of Utah.
The Utah Department of Health’s medical cannabis website went online Sunday, as required by the Utah Medical Cannabis Act.
“It’s been in the law the program has to get up and running by today, and so the (Utah) Department of Health, the (Utah) Department of Agriculture — everyone has been working up until today,” said Connor Boyak, president of the Libertas Institute.
Boyak said patients are required to meet with a qualified medical provider, who is registered with the UDOH, before receiving a card.
“The physician can say check, Connor is a patient, I see he signed up and I want to recommend him,” he said. “The Department of Health will then issue to the patient a medical cannabis card or certificate. That allows them to go into the dispensaries that in the weeks and months ahead are going to start to open and be able to purchase their medicine here in Utah.”
Requirements to get a medical cannabis card:
- Locate a medical provider who is registered to recommend medical cannabis
- Meet with a qualified medical provider
- Review the electronic verification system tutorial and apply online for a card
- Qualified medical provider issues recommendation online
- Pay a medical cannabis card application fee online (initial: $15, first 30-day renewal: $5, six-month renewal: $15)
- UDOH completes card application review within 15 days (patients 21+ with qualifying condition) or 90 days (under age 21 or adults without qualifying condition)
- Patient receives medical cannabis card and can purchase from a medical cannabis pharmacy
Once issued, cards are valid for 30 days and need to be renewed by a certified medical provider. After that 30-day period, the cards need to be renewed every six months.
Utah’s first medical cannabis dispensary, Dragonfly Wellness, will open in Salt Lake City on Monday.
Eight of the 14 dispensary locations announced by UDOH officials may open as early as March 2020. The other six may open as early as July 2020.
The Utah Department of Health\u2019s medical cannabis website went online Sunday, as required by the Utah Medical Cannabis Act.